Advice

2020 Property trend forecast: Part 1

We asked property experts to pin down the residential trends and price points likely to stick in the new year – take a read here to find out more

TEXT Kim Maxwell PHOTOGRAPHS Supplied

The residential market has experienced a number of challenges during 2019, but a leaner economy and flattening out of the market has also been a leveller for bargain-hunters, long-term investors and those with entrepreneurial nerve for risk.

“Buyers are more educated than ever and really are spoilt for choice, so it’s critical for sellers to price their properties correctly, especially in the upper-income and luxury segments,” says Marcél du Toit, CEO at bond originator Bondspark.

HOME TYPE AND PRECINCT TRENDS

Which are the home type trends with staying power? Pam Golding Property Group chief executive Andrew Golding says the home type with staying power is sectional title accommodation in mixed-use developments in prime locations that facilitate a secure lockup-and-go lifestyle. He names Menlyn Maine in Pretoria as an example, as well as the Cape Town CBD, which has been a key urban precinct for some time. In lifestyle estates, he says, there will be a focus on creating a greater mix of price bands.

Golding also singles out student accommodation, where demand significantly outstrips supply; retirement developments, particularly those in secure lifestyle estates; and affordable homes in towns traditionally considered retirement or holiday destinations. “There are areas such as Somerset West and Simonstown where new developments ensure that more medical and educational amenities are available in what are traditionally retirement or holiday destinations,” says Golding.

In Johannesburg, Rosebank “is experiencing something of a revival”, and Pretoria boasts projects such as the new R6 billion Castle Gate Precinct.

STUDENT AND HOTEL-SERVICE RESIDENTIAL

Student towns are big business, as a lack of university residences creates ongoing demand for apartments close to campus, says Louise Varga, Pam Golding Properties area manager for Stellenbosch. A new investment opportunity in the Boland town is The Niche, 51 units with bachelor to three-bedroom options, listed from R1,5 million.

Varga is also marketing Bosmans Club, a development comprising 46 units in a fusion of wood, steel, glass and brick, starting at R1,4 million.

“Bosmans Club appeals to young professionals and post-graduates who want to experience the Stellenbosch vibe without living in the centre of town,” she says.

Signatura MD David Cohen says offering residents “a mix of hotel and residential” is an international trend whole-heartedly embraced at The Onyx on Cape Town’s Foreshore. Service offerings include housekeeping, room service and optional participation in a hotel-managed rental pool. “It adds that extra factor to a luxury building, which owners who have travelled the world have come to expect,” says Cohen.

The luxury apartments are priced from R1,7 million for a studio to R20,5 million for a three-bedroom duplex penthouse.

PRICING PATTERNS

How is the residential market looking in broader terms? Buyisile Maseko, growth head of the Gold Segment at FNB Home Finance, says Deeds Office home transaction data for Q2 2019 shows that growth in house prices either declined or slowed across all price segments.

The exception was the low-income band (where an average purchase price is R395 900), where house sale prices grew by a 17.6% average year-on-year. Luxury value bands (R2.3 million average purchase price) declined by a 0.23% average year-on-year. “We anticipate this residential price point trend will continue into early 2020, with higher participation in the lower end of the market,” says Maseko.

BetterBond’s latest statistics show that 44% of bonds granted in the past year (to end September) fell into the R500 000 to R1 million category. Another 19% of bonds granted were in the R1 million to R1.5 million bracket.

Signatura’s Onyx in Cape Town Foreshore

STEVE BROOKES | CEO OF BALWIN PROPERTIES

WHAT STOOD OUT FOR YOU IN 2019?
South Africa is going through a tough economic cycle and we must stand together and support our president, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, in creating a great future.

HOW ARE YOUR CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS DIFFERENT?
We have four award-winning architects working on our designs, and 95% of our products are locally sourced and manufactured. We are totally invested in and committed to eco-friendly designs and fittings, which have won us numerous awards. Balwin is very clear on delivering the best to our clients.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR 2020?
We are planning a strong investment in our green brand, which is in a lower-entry bracket. We want to refocus this brand from a rental to a selling business, rolling out about 6 000 apartments. I believe it’s going to be a big winner. We are also excited about introducing a fantastic new development in Waterfall in March called Munyaka. It’s priced right and has the best crystal lagoon in the world, according to our esteemed architects working on the project. I am told we are going to change the landscape of property in Johannesburg with this new development. balwin.co.za

ANTON CROUSE | MANAGING DIRECTOR, CENTRAL DEVELOPMENTS PROPERTY GROUP

WHAT PROPERTY TRENDS STOOD OUT FOR YOU IN 2019?
The current economic climate resulted in weak demand in the property market. This put pressure on the industry, leading to a buyer’s market.

HOW ARE YOUR CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS UNIQUE?
All our retirement developments are EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiency) certified by the Green Building Council of South Africa. We are also planning to put our conventional developments – already complying with green requirements – through the EDGE programme. Our retirement estates are unique because they are fully independent communities, offering every convenience a resident might need inside the estate from day one, including medical services, frail care, heated indoor swimming pools, hair and beauty salons, and restaurants.

WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING FOR 2020?
We’ll launch Village 2 of Celebration Retirement Estate and continue with Waterkloof Marina Retirement Estate’s first and second phases.

YOUR PROPERTY TRENDS FORECAST FOR 2020?
As the economy improves, the demand will increase and prices will rise. With rental stock being sought-after, we foresee an improvement in retirement rentals, and townhouse developments with excellent buy-to-let options. In the retirement industry, due to the limited supply of our unique service-rich retirement developments in Gauteng, we foresee good capital growth for projects like Celebration and Waterkloof Marina. centraldevelopments.co.za

NICHOLAS STOPFORTH | MANAGING DIRECTOR, AMDEC CONSTRUCTION DEVELOPMENTS

WHAT PROPERTY TRENDS STOOD OUT FOR YOU IN 2019?
Mixed-use developments have continued to shape our industry. In terms of residential property, we’ve seen moves towards lifestyle estates and compact apartment living.

HOW ARE AMDEC’S DEVELOPMENTS DIFFERENT?
The Amdec Group continues its involvement in projects once construction is complete. We retain majority ownership and full management control of our large-scale developments because it provides end-to-end control over implementing sustainable, eco-friendly measures. Our operations and building management teams consist of exceptional individuals whose depth of knowledge and experience can be found in few other places in the industry. Designing, building and operating developments and precincts with sustainability top of mind is non-negotiable.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN THE PIPELINE?
We will soon be breaking ground on our most ambitious Cape-based project to date – Harbour Arch on the eastern edge of the Cape Town CBD. It will be a R14 billion project that will bring as many as 13 000 construction jobs to the city, so it will be ground-breaking on many levels.

YOUR PROPERTY TRENDS FORECAST FOR 2020?
We anticipate the continued rise of large-scale mixed-use developments. We also foresee that residential property purchases will keep moving in the direction of more compact apartment living. amdec.co.za

REINIER VAN LOGGERENBERG | MANAGING DIRECTOR, CRAFT HOMES

WHAT PROPERTY TRENDS STOOD OUT IN 2019?
There’s been consistent growth in the first-time home-buyers’ market this year. And its partly driven by the leniency of the banks’ support of first-time buyers. It’s been a pillar for our business to keep us in that market bracket. Also, people got over the immigration phobia and are investing in properties that suit their lifestyles. I think this is the reason our duplex-type developments are doing so well.

HOW ARE CRAFT HOMES’ DEVELOPMENTS DIFFERENT?
What sets us apart from other developers is the amount of time we spend on refining the details of our offering. We cater for specific needs and requirements. The market is saturated with products that look and feel similar. Our offering is unique and has real potential to growth in value. We are also proud of our two property awards – for our lifestyle estate in Heron Banks on the Vaal River, and Sandton Gate.

ANY NEW DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2020?
We are sticking with the winning pillars of our business: putting enough units on the market in the affordable space – in Kyalami and Glen Erasmia – as well as a boutique development in Bryanston.

YOUR PROPERTY TRENDS FORECAST FOR 2020?
I don’t expect any major changes in the next year, except perhaps consistent growth, and fewer up and downs. So I’m looking forward to a more stable, more consistent property space in 2020. crafthomes.co.za

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